Scotland Yard Lights Initiative Reaches Completion
A project roughly four years in the making reached its completion this summer with the installation of field lights at Scotland Yard. Now, for the first time in the school's 55-year history, the Covenant College Scots and Lady Scots can play nighttime soccer games at home.
The Scotland Yard Lights Initiative represents one of the many projects made possible by the BUILD campaign. Covenant's BUILD campaign began in 2005 and has already seen several major milestones: the construction of Brock and Andreas Halls, renovation of Kresge Memorial Library, a partial refresh of Carter Hall, development of the Dottie Brock Gardens and an upgraded College entrance, construction of a baseball and softball complex, the acquisition of additional property, and now the addition to Covenant's soccer game field of Musco lights, the same brand of lights used at many professional stadiums and ballparks across the country. Covenant's Alumni Office enthusiastically participated in the completion of this BUILD campaign project.
"Soccer lights have always been a part of the BUILD campaign," said Marshall Rowe, Covenant's director of alumni relations. "We felt that in this economy, it was the right time to get a lot of soccer alumni involved in the process." Alumnus Jonathan Wilson, a 2006 community development graduate and former varsity starter, was one of the more prominent promoters for the addition of the lights. Knowing that a large portion of likely contributors were young alumni, Wilson and Rowe sought to encourage the giving of small gifts in order to complete the nearly $200,000 task. In the current troubled economy, many gifts under $100 helped make the completion of this initiative possible.
Rowe stressed that the benefits of installing lights are two-fold: providing fans with a more enjoyable experience in the late evening atmosphere, when alumni and community members are better able to attend games, and allowing students to miss less class time for afternoon games during the week. Covenant's soccer coaches have already taken advantage of this by scheduling several games this season for 7:00 p.m. or later. In fact, Friday, September 3 will be the first date for the Lady Scots to play under the lights, a match slated for 9:00 p.m. against Oakland City University. The men's first game under the lights will be September 21 against Emory and Henry College, and on October 9, part of the 2010 homecoming ceremony will include the dedication of the new lights.
"The addition of lights to our soccer game field has allowed us to continue to advance our overall athletic department as well as enhance the soccer experience for the players and fans alike," said Tami Smialek, Covenant's director of athletics. "We are very appreciative of the work of so many involved in completing this project and blessed by the generosity of those who made it financially possible for this dream to become a reality."
The company in charge of the landscape architecture for this initiative was Holcombe Norton Partners Inc., a business that has had partial responsibility for the design of many fields and stadiums in the Southeast, including schools at every NCAA level. Lawson Electric Company installed the lights.
"The first night we were able to practice under the lights was a dream come true," said men's soccer head coach Nathan Pifer. "Our seniors who helped start the lights campaign their freshman year felt a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. We are excited to play under the lights and look forward to the electric atmosphere our fans will bring."
Said the head women's coach Mark Duble, "The lights present us with a great opportunity to make soccer games far more accessible to both students and alumni by moving games to an evening slot. On top of that the lights give Scotland Yard an ‘Old Trafford' feel to it."
Soccer Lights Photo Gallery »